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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Owen Bullock

 

Zennor

Though Cornish born and bred, I'd never been to St Ives before this trip. Its rooves are glazed with yellow lichen. A brass band plays on the quay in the evening, notes of the cornet melt the air; the percussion is strident and the conducting minimal.

through the heavens
to Zennor
an air force jet

Early one morning, I take the cliff path. I've wanted to visit the village of Zennor since learning that D.H. Lawrence was resident there during the War. On the way, I pass a standing stone circle, walk into it, close my eyes and begin to soak up the energy. I take off my clothes and sit as close to the centre of the circle as I can. Whenever a party of tourists pass, I throw something over myself.

From the clifftop further on, I spy a small beach and climb down to it. I strip off again to swim. The water is icy. The heads of several seals are bobbing up beyond the rocks; I edge towards them.

In Zennor, I visit the church and the pub - the two types of buildings I make for in most places. Some churches are tangibly peaceful, such as the little chapel in Golant, some have a sense of evil about them, like the Anglican in Truro, and others provoke little reaction.

crooked
candles in the church
unlit

from pews
the sirens
of the city

by a spire
as old as my name
wolf-whistle

I seem to lapse into the stonework, know the granite. Behind the pulpit is one stained glass window; it's long and narrow and depicts the crucifixion. Jesus' expression is sublime.

Like the church, the pub is thirteenth century. I chat to the barman, remarking on the strange alcove near the bar. The seat belongs to a regular customer. The bar stools are all different. I order a pint of cider and ploughman's and sit outside, overlooking the cove. I soon feel very full, but I know I'll work it off on my way back. I haven't found out where Lawrence lived, or even asked - it doesn't seem important any more.

returning
to walk the lanes . . .
time was yesterday

Footpaths wind through fields and over a hill which borders moorland. Below some pancake rocks, a voice on the wind seems to call out to me.

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